In the middle of March, a small faction of the Tamarind Adventure Club participated in a day-hike excursion to Bandelier National Monument. We walked the well-known Frijoles Canyon Trail, visiting cliff dwellings along the canyon walls as well as the Alcove House, which I documented in an earlier post from a solo visit in November. However, it was a gorgeous hike along the Tsankawi trail located approximately 12 miles outside of the canyon that truly took our collective breath away. Beautiful snow dotted mesas, gorgeous views of the Jemez mountains, primitive ruins, petroglyphs galore, and well-worn trails once hiked by the ancestral inhabitants of the area carved into the surface of the cliffs. A lovely day shared with lovely people.
Written on October 6, 2015
Written on September 29, 2015
This past January, on our way to Amarillo, Texas via ABQ, the Tamarind crew stopped at Cadillac Ranch located directly on Route 66– The Mother Road. It was a rare, snowy mid-morning– perfect for picture-taking and tagging. Spray paint cans littered the ground, as visitors are actively encouraged to add their own art to the rusted out caddy hulks. It was a fun stop to stretch our legs and climb on old cars.
Pictured above, from left to right: Justin, Maria, Nora, Alice, Jackie, Mark, Danielle, Amanda and Candice.
Pictured above, left to right: Maria, Danielle, Candice, Justin, Jackie, and Nora!
Amanda peaking around the corner of the enhanced Tamarind chop, now with GOLD.
Written on September 29, 2015
Back in January, the Tamarind Adventure Club headed into the Jemez Wilderness in search of the Paliza Canyon Goblin Colony. After fighting our way through some rugged, icy single lane dirt roads, we finally arrived at a nearby campground– the closest we could get to the trailhead in winter. We approached the canyon from above and behind, hiking up an old service road for a couple miles before finally sighting the Goblin Colony. Had we approached from the designated trail head, there’s no way we would have discovered the extent of the hoodoo colony in the tree line above the canyon floor.
As always, we were lucky amateurs, relying on collective hunches.
Do you see the melting goblin faces? Also, it was eerily quiet. These forms really blocked sound from traveling; it was easy to get separated from folks.
Alligator Juniper! The first time I’d ever seen it… Now these trees feel like old friends.
Some of my favorite people, having lunch on a canyon wall, overlooking goblins.
On our way out… the canyon floor of course had significantly more sow accumulation. This was the perfect winter day hike!
Written on July 11, 2015
The day after Thanksgiving, myself and a couple other Tamarindos went for a hike at Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument, affectionately known as ‘Tent Rocks.’ We weren’t the only folks with this idea; there was a line to get up the mountain! Regardless, the hike is beautiful. We climbed to the top of the outcrop seen to the left in the photo below.
Written on July 10, 2015
In October, I took a solo day trip to Bandelier National Monument, winding along the backroads and approaching Frijoles Canyon from the southwest from the Jemez Mountains, which was a beautiful drive. The peak tourist season was winding down, but I still had to take a shuttle into the canyon from a neighboring town. Several years ago, a massive flood washed away a significant portion of the parking lot in the canyon. The weather was warm yet foreboding; the sky was darkly ominous. Shortly after entering the canyon, a thunderstorm erupted overhead. I took shelter in hollowed, hand-carved room dug into the canyon face, just like the ancestral pueblo peoples did over 500 years ago. After the rain subsided, I continued walking toward the end of the canyon, finally reaching the Alcove House, an ancestral pueblo dwelling located 140 feet above the canyon floor. Four wooden ladders and dozens of stairs carved into the cliff lead you up the rock face to the sacred Kiva. The view was breathtaking and worth the sometimes-nerve-wracking climb for this explorer who likes to keep her feet firmly planted on the ground.
Looking into Frijoles Canyon from above.
Written on July 9, 2015
Back in October, a group of Tamarind students woke at 3AM, climbed into cars and onto bikes, arriving before dawn to Balloon Fiesta Park for the opening weekend of the annual Balloon Fiesta. There, along with thousands of spectators, we witnessed the launch of hundreds of hot air balloons into the twilight sky. Once the rays of the sun reached above the Sandia Mountains to the east, balloons began ascending into the sky in unrelenting waves, for hours upon hours. We wandered under and through balloons as they were unfurled upon the ground, slowly inflated, and finally released into the atmosphere. It was truly a sight to behold– a definite once in a lifetime experience.
Written on February 18, 2015
Back in October, the Tamarind Adventure Club enjoyed a night of camping at White Sands National Monument. When we arrived in the early afternoon, the sun was high overhead and the heat, reflecting of the dunes, was almost unbearable. The sand however, made out of gypsum, remained cool to the touch, collecting what little moisture the desert has to offer. As the afternoon progressed, we parked at the trailhead for backcountry camping and headed into the dunes. The only means to find our way were a series of red poles placed at the top of the dunes, directing us dune to dune, until we had walked a mile into the sands to designated, numbered camp sites. Sunset and sunrise were magical light shows, and though the photos may seem repetitive, each dune had a unique relation to the sky and the surrounding mountains. It was hard to look away, and equally difficult to capture in images.
The muted color of sunrise caused the sky and the sand to blend together, obliterating the horizon.